Prosecutors say missing 4-year-old Athena Brownfield was beaten to death on Christmas Day

A memorial for Athena Brownfield is pictured Tuesday on a the front porch of a home in Cyril.

ANADARKO — The 4-year-old Cyril girl who was the subject of an intensive search last week was beaten to death late Christmas Day, prosecutors alleged in a murder charge made public Tuesday.

The search for Athena Brownfield eventually became a recovery operation. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation disclosed Tuesday afternoon a child's remains have been found.

A caretaker, Ivon Neil Adams III, 36, is accused in a first-degree murder count of striking Athena multiple times at their home Dec. 25. He is accused in a child neglect count of leaving her 5-year-old sister alone on Jan. 6.

He was charged Thursday in Caddo County District Court after his wife, Alysia Adams, spoke to the OSBI.

His wife "confessed" that he beat Athena about midnight Christmas Day and held her up by her arms, an OSBI agent reported in a court affidavit.

Previously: One caretaker of missing 4-year-old girl accused of murder and child neglect

Athena "was not moving and her eyes were barely open," she said, according to the affidavit. "He then laid her on the ground and punched her at least three more times in her chest."

Athena "never moved after that."

A missing person sign for Athena Brownfield is pictured Tuesday in Cyril.

He left about 1 a.m. Dec. 26 and later "told Alysia that he buried her near a fence line that was next to their old residence in Rush Springs," according to the affidavit. "He informed her he placed a large broken branch over the burial site."

OSBI: Child's body found during search for missing Cyril girl Athena Brownfield

The search for Athena began on Jan. 10 after a postal carrier found her sister wandering outside in Cyril about 2 p.m. The OSBI announced on Monday that the search had become a recovery operation.

The OSBI said Tuesday in a news advisory the remains of a child were recovered in rural Grady County outside of Rush Springs.

"At this time, the OSBI cannot confirm the remains are those of Athena Brownfield. The remains will be transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Oklahoma City for positive identification."

Athena Brownfield

The 5-year-old was placed in protective custody, the OSBI said last week. She disclosed "she had been home alone and she is tired of being alone," according to the affidavit.

Ivon Adams was arrested Thursday in Arizona in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix. He agreed Friday to return to Oklahoma to fight the accusations. He remained Tuesday in the Maricopa County jail.

His bail is set at $1 million.

Alysia Adams, 31, also was arrested Thursday, in Oklahoma.

She was charged Tuesday in Caddo County District Court with two counts of child neglect. Her bail is set at $500,000.

She is accused in the first count of failing to properly supervise the 5-year-old. She is accused in the second count of failing to protect Athena from physical abuse.

Her attorney, Al Hoch, is asking for a gag order to limit publicity in the case and is not making any statements to the media.

A memorial for Athena Brownfield is pictured Tuesday on a the front porch of a home in Cyril.

The OSBI disclosed Monday that Athena and her sister were related to Alysia Adams.

"The girls' biological parents have been interviewed by agents and are cooperating with the investigation," the OSBI said.

The girls' mother left them with Alysia and Ivon Adams a year and a half to two years ago, according to the court affidavit. The 5-year-old said she called Alysia "mom" and "Aly" and called Ivon "dad" and "Uncle Ivon."

This image, provided by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, shows a missing persons flyer for 4-year-old Athena Brownfield. Hundreds searched for her last week after Cyril police learned she was missing. Prosecutors now say she was killed Christmas Day.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Ivon Adams accused of killing Athena Brownfield on Christmas Day